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Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 35467
Experience:  MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
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I have slight numbness down the underside of my left arm. My

Customer Question

I have slight numbness down the underside of my left arm. My left breast does feel heavier than my right one for the past several days. A week a go I had a clear mammogram with a noted "dense breasts". no breast cancer i the family. Ten years ago I was treated with chemo and radiation for Hodgkins disease. The chemo port was placed inside upper left arm. A week ago routine blood work at oncologist showed all normal. what could be causing the feeling of breast swelling and numbness?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 4 years ago.

Greetings Mary.

Since your blood work by oncologist has been normal and a recent mammogram too was clear; the most likely cause of your symptoms is pinched nerves in neck which cause radiculopathy symptoms in arm (upper limb), chest and breast region. This can cause numbness and abnormal sensation (termed paresthesias). The pinched nerves can be due to;

1) Herniated/degenerated disc in neck

2) Cervical spondylosis; bone spurs in the neck vertebrae pressing on the nerves.

Following investigations would be required;

1) X-ray of the neck spine

2) MRI of the neck

3) Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) study

4) Electromyography (EMG)

Following measures would be helpful;

1) Neck care in the activities of daily living.

a) No working on computer for more than half an hour in a single stretch. Same for TV.

b) Monitors and televisions exactly in front (180 degrees).

c) Contour pillow: Should fill the hollow when lying on back or straight. Available over the counter.

2) Cervical Collar or Brace

3) Cervical traction

4) Anti-inflammatory analgesics like Ibuprofen

5) Some physicians do give oral steroids in severe radiculopathy cases, in whom paresthesias / numbness / tingling is quite significant.

6) Physical therapy: gradually increasing exercises from passive stretching to active against resistance regime.

7) Electrotherapy in the form of TENS, interferential and laser and ultrasound.

You can consult following specialists;

a) Orthopedist

b) Neurologist

c) MD in Physical medicine and rehabilitation

Please feel free for your follow up questions.

I would be happy to assist you further, if you need any more information.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Please explain radicuopathy and why only only in left breast

Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 4 years ago.

Hello Mary,

I am sorry for the delay in my follow up answer. I had an emergency to see. I apologize for your wait.

Radiculopathy is nerve symptoms at the far distance where the nerves are pinched or pressed. The breast problem is caused by the nerves pinched in the neck spine (called as cervical spine). This usually affect only one side of the body like one side arm, breast or chest. This can happen on both the sides too, but commonly it occurs only on one side.

It is privilege assisting you.

Dr. Arun